Friday 9 December 2016

Launch of Turner Prize boycotted

Published 04/10/2010 | 12:04

Photographers outside the Tate Britain Art Gallery refused to attend a photocall for this year's Turner Prize exhibition
Photographers outside the Tate Britain Art Gallery refused to attend a photocall for this year's Turner Prize exhibition
A woman looks at Death of David Kelly by Dexter Dalwood which has been shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2010
A young woman studies the work of Angela de la Cruz called Mixed Media Chair and Stool, which has been shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2010

The launch of this year's Turner Prize has been overshadowed by a row sparked by organisers demanding only good publicity.

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Photographers boycotted the modern art exhibition at Tate Britain in central London after being asked to sign a form which said journalists could not publish any images or words which would "result in any adverse publicity" for the Tate.

The resulting two-hour stand-off ended when the Tate allowed them to attend the launch without signing the form and said it would be reviewed before further events.

Richard Pohle, from The Times, said he had refused to photograph the launch after reading the form.

He said: "We are not prepared to sign a contract that leaves us open to being sued by the Tate if our pictures are used next to an article that criticises the gallery."

The form also states the gallery is allowed to "copy, reproduce, record, store and disseminate" the photographer's work without paying royalties.

Among the photographers who joined the boycott were staff working for the Evening Standard, Reuters and the Press Association.

The stalemate recalls the problems faced by Southampton Football Club when it tried to control access to its games for photographers. The club used its own photographer as the sole source of images for its home games, which prompted one newspaper to publish cartoons of the action to get round the ban.

The prize has had its share of adverse publicity in the past. In 1999, artist Tracey Emin was shortlisted for her work My Bed, which featured an unmade bed complete with stained sheets.

This year's shortlist includes a painting of the scene where scientist David Kelly died, a recording of a Scottish folk lament and a collection of broken canvasses laid on top of each other.

Press Association

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